Blogging in Public

When I speak with people about blogging, I often make the distinction between blogging as a personal but transparent act (much of the blogging on Livejournal takes this form), and blogging as a kind of intentional micropublishing; that is, the creation of a public persona.

I consider my blog to be of the latter type. The vast majority of those who read my blog I have never met — either face-to-face or electronically.
There are a lot of things I don’t blog. I don’t talk much about my private life. That is to say, I do often talk about personal issues, but there is a significant part of my life that is generally unblogged. There are parts of my professional life that are equally unbloggable, from papers that are meant for blind review to (e.g.) a meeting with the president of the university last week. In both cases, there could be significant negative consequences to making private matters public. At least part of that is erring on the conservative side of considering what others might consider not for public consumption. That’s one of the reasons I like doing things with other bloggers–it’s easier to assume they don’t mind it being blogged.

What prompted this was reading the new blog of a friend: In and Out of Confidence. Tamar and I have really only had dinner a couple of times and so there is no reason I should know her well, but she writes publicly and compellingly about intimate matters. One of the things I love about blogs is the potential of communicating such intimate thoughts and feelings in a way that might be more difficult in traditional face-to-face, for those of us who are introverted or “communication apprehensive.”

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